Is it possible to detect 90% of cheating in online chess?

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Is it possible to detect 90% of cheating in online chess?

Postby wagermatcharty » 21 Oct 2021, 21:05

Dear community,

My name is Arty, I'm the co-founder of an online chess head-to-head gaming platform. We're currently still setting up and are pre-launch.

We have a desire to do what many people on here believe is impossible, which is to solve the cheating problem in online Chess. We are uniquely well positioned to solve this issue, in a way that other chess platforms are not (see below for more info), which is why we know we can achieve this goal with the right help.

We are looking to eliminate the vast majority of online cheating on our platform, not all of it, as that's very likely unattainable - we want players to feel as comfortable playing on our platform as they do playing on Pokerstars, for example.

We have some great ideas in the works that we've received some positive feedback on (fresher ideas than what you'll see in my post history, for you detectives), and we're about 80% of the way there, but we need help.

Specifically, we need help from someone who knows chess, who knows cheating, and can help give us feedback on our existing defense system ideas, and provide us with their perspective and FRESH IDEAS on what more we can do in terms of statistical/automated cheating detection.

If you consider yourself as a strong chess player (ideally 1800+ but not required), are comfortable working with cheating scripts/bots, please DM.

We’re also open to all your questions and feedback in the comments below. We’re quite open and want the community’s help.

Here’s what we’re currently planning on doing to deter/reduce cheating for those curious:

Qualitative Elements:

1. ID Verification based on Name/Address and Photo ID if req’d - meaning users only have 1 account - if you get banned you can't come back. We can take ID because we’re a skill-gaming company and follow regulations.

2. Strong Terms of Service: You’ll have to agree you will not cheat, you will not use programs to cheat, you agree only you will play on your account - punishments include seizure of funds, permanent bans, and in certain cases prosecution similar to what casinos do. We only operate in Canada/USA where we can go after you if we want to. 

3. Caught Cheaters will have their money seized and funds will be returned to those who were cheated out of it.

4. Everything LiChess Cheat Detection offers is already integrated, because you play the actual game on LiChess (We put you directly in the game against your opponent). 

5. Our own Player Reporting System which consists of two things: 1) an “Asshole Score”; which increases when people report you for cheating and 2) a “Trust Score” which measures how often you report people, and if you make false reports, your reports will weigh less on other peoples’ asshole scores - frequent abusers of reporting will also face punishments. These scores are on a rolling basis over games and time.

6. Minimum Requirements to Play for $$$: 1) Users will need to play enough games to have a non-provisional rating in a specific game type before they can play for money on our platform. 2) Users will have to unlock higher $$ categories by playing games in low $$$ categories e.g. First you unlock $2.00 games, once you play 50 games there you then unlock $5.00 games, same thing happens after that for $10.00 games, and so forth. This means users will have to commit to the community to get in a position where it might actually be profitable to try and cheat. You also won’t be allowed to play if you have a suspicious W/L ratio.

7. Monitoring what background applications you may have running and scanning for commonly known realtime assistance programs.

Quantitative Elements:

1. We leverage all of LiChess’ cheat detection elements (you play the game on their platform).

2. We give users a unique “ELO” under each $$$ category and game type to prevent users from smurfing across different $$ categories. We pull all of your game history in these game types from LiChess, and if you don’t have a history you’ll need to build one before you can play in higher dollar tiers.

3. We have our own cheat detection system that scans games any time a user reports another user for cheating. The system is points-based, and basically if you reach a score of let’s say “5 points” for example, you get banned. It works as follows: (Note: +1/-1 Numbers/Weights will be adjusted, this is for example purposes only)

* Did the purported cheater win the match? (Yes +1 Cheating / No -1 Cheating)
* Win/Loss Ratio > 55%? (Yes +1 Cheating / No -1 Cheating)
* Is the player’s time between moves suspicious (e.g. always between 2-3 seconds even in the early parts of the game during openings, or very different from their average time between moves in other games of the same time limit) (Yes +1 Cheating / No -1 Cheating)
* Is the user’s centipawn loss in the match very different from their average centipawn loss across games? (Yes +1 Cheating / No -1 Cheating)

Why other chess platforms can’t solve cheating and do this:

They’re big, this whole project is a lot of risk for them to take on, and this is extremely expensive and requires a lot of regulatory and industry expertise.

We’re nimble, accepting of the high risk of failure, and have nothing to lose except the money we’ve saved over the last couple years.

Nothing is certain currently, these are still just ideas, but we want to do more and we need fresh perspective, ideas, and help, because we’re not experts in Chess.

I’m happy to share more via DM or better yet via a call/google meet/zoom so we can just show you what we've done so far.

If interested, please DM me or comment thoughts below.
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